Your car is equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) primarily to keep you safe on the road. Anytime the car tire pressure drops too low, the tire pressure light (a TPMS component) becomes illuminated.
When the lights come on, you’re required to check the tire pressures with a gauge and inflate the tires. Be sure to follow the pressure recommendation from your car manufacturer. Generally, though, most manufacturers of passenger cars recommend 30 to 35 pounds per square inch (PSI).
If the TPMS light stays on even after inflating the tires appropriately, you’ll need to reset tire pressure. You can opt for the DIY resetting approach or turn to a local car service technician.
DIY CAR TIRE PRESSURE LIGHT RESETTING TIPS
To reset car tire pressure, try these tricks:
Drive your car at 50 mph for 10 minutes. Well, this is aimed at resetting the tire pressure sensor. If this doesn’t fix the tire pressure light issue when you start your vehicle, consider trying the next tip.
Turn off the vehicle, then twist the ignition key to ”ON” without starting the car. On the TPMS reset button, press and hold to make the tire pressure light blink. Release that button after three blinks, then start your vehicle. Give your car about 20 minutes for this trick to work.
In case trick number 2 doesn’t work, shut off the car and disconnect the positive terminal of the vehicle battery. You’ll need to discharge any remaining power by igniting the vehicle and pressing the horn for three seconds. Reconnect the battery cable.
Your last DIY car tire pressure light resetting resort would be to overinflate all your car tires with 3 pounds per square inch (PSI). Then, deflate before re-inflating them according to your manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure.
Hopefully, these tips should help you reset car tire pressure light. Otherwise, the best course of action would be to take your car to a vehicle service center near you.
Keep reading to learn more about TPMS light.
HOW DOES A TPMS WORK?
A TPMS uses a direct or indirect sensor mechanism to alert you when the tire pressure falls below the safe threshold. The way these monitoring sensors work is a little different.
A direct TPMS provides the most accurate tire pressure readings, as the sensors are mounted on each tire. The pressure sensors collect the tire inflation data directly from the valves.
When it comes to indirect TPMS, the car’s computer relies on your vehicle’s anti-lock brake system (ABS). The monitoring sensor picks up signals based on the relative speeds of the wheels.
A deflated tire would rotate slightly faster because its diameter has decreased. If this happens, your car’s computer will set off the tire pressure light.
An indirect TPMS requires manual resetting after a tire change, whereas direct TPMS resets automatically.
HOW LONG WILL MY TPMS MONITORING SENSOR LAST?
The batteries that power the sensors have a lifespan of approximately 5-10 years, depending on how many miles you drive and the conditions you drive in.
Some car owners often wonder whether they’ll need to replace their TPMS sensor every time they get new tires. If your trusted auto diagnosis technician inspects the sensors and finds them in good condition, a replacement won’t be necessary. If the sensors are nearing the end of their battery life, replacing them when fixing the new tires would be worthwhile. But the mechanic will advise you accordingly.
The procedure for installing new sensors is a technical one. It requires a professional eye with some specialized tools. The TPMS sensors must relearn where each tire is located to gather correct data.
WHY IS MY TIRE PRESSURE LIGHT ON YET THE CAR TIRES SEEM FINE?
If you’ve confirmed the pressure of all tires is correct, then the tire pressure light might be due to two reasons:
- COLD WEATHER
A significant drop in temperature can affect the tire pressures, triggering the TPMS sensing transmitters to activate the warning light. There’s a 1-2 PSI decrease in tire pressure for every 10 degrees drop in temperature.
That’s because the air inside the tires condenses. As such, the cooler air takes up less space. If the TPMS light comes on because of cold weather, the light gets illuminated temporarily.
Driving the car for approximately 20 minutes will heat up the tires, causing the air in them to expand. Therefore, the light will go off. If that doesn’t happen, inflate any tire that’s low to address any air deficiency.
- MALFUNCTIONING TPMS
In some cases, you could be seeing a tire pressure light because the TPMS isn’t picking up the appropriate signals. You’ll need to call your mechanic to inspect it and fix the problem.
WHEN IS IT RECOMMENDED TO MEASURE TIRE PRESSURE?
If you want the correct reading, check the pressure using a gauge when the tires are cold. Ensure they haven’t been rolling on the road for at least three hours.
Measuring the tire pressure is easy. Just unscrew the valve cap on the tire. Attach the gauge to the valve stem and take note of the pressure reading. Once done, replace the valve cap.
WHAT ARE THE DANGERS OF DRIVING WITH THE TIRE PRESSURE LIGHT WARNING?
It is advisable to fix the low tire pressure problem as soon as you can to avoid putting yourself and other road users in danger. Much of the under-inflated tire surface area touches the road, generating excessive friction.
Unfortunately, this can lead to:
- Wear and tear
- Tread separation
If a blowout incident occurs, the driver is at risk of losing control of their vehicle and crashing. In 2019, NHTSA reported 612 deaths related to tire-related accidents.
By maintaining appropriate car tire pressure, you’ll avoid early and unnecessary tire replacements.
Besides the reasons, tire pressure also influences your fuel consumption. Yes, driving with the recommended tire pressure could save you as much as 11 cents per gallon.